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Gluten-free Hypoglycemia Diet?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 mattj

 
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Posted 20 May 2008 - 06:03 AM

I suspect that I might be hypoglycemic for a number of reasons, but I'm struggling with what looks like conflicting information about what I should and shouldn't eat. Also, the dietary information always contains foods that a person with celiac disease can't touch. Could someone suggest what I could eat to remain healthy while seeing if I improve on this diet?
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#2 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 20 May 2008 - 07:03 AM

the two diets are actually really compatible, if you don't eat a lot of specialty gluten subs. lower your carb intake, particularly balancing carbs with protein and fat (and fiber) at each meal. fruits and veggies with protein and fiber are important for this, for instance. (sweet potatoes and even waxy potatoes being better than russet potatoes, as one example.) use legumes rather than higher carb grains like rice when you can; don't try to eliminate fat from a meal (healthy fat), but rather control portion size.

if you can be specific with the sorts of food choice dilemas you're facing, we could give some specific examples.
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#3 mattj

 
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Posted 20 May 2008 - 12:42 PM

the two diets are actually really compatible, if you don't eat a lot of specialty gluten subs. lower your carb intake, particularly balancing carbs with protein and fat (and fiber) at each meal. fruits and veggies with protein and fiber are important for this, for instance. (sweet potatoes and even waxy potatoes being better than russet potatoes, as one example.) use legumes rather than higher carb grains like rice when you can; don't try to eliminate fat from a meal (healthy fat), but rather control portion size.

if you can be specific with the sorts of food choice dilemas you're facing, we could give some specific examples.


Hi, I have read conflicting things about fruits. I'm not sure which fruits I should eat. I'm also not sure where honey stands and if I must cut out all sugar.
What counts as high carbs? The trouble is that these things (carbs, sugars, etc) are in almost everything, so I have to learn what is high and what is low.
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#4 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 20 May 2008 - 01:44 PM

you don't necessarily have to cut out all carbs or sugars if you're hypoglycemic. a lot of it depends on how sensitive you are. it also means that no one can give you a diet to follow, you have to find out for yourself what works for you. read labels, and look up the nutritional information of things that don't have labels. (the USDA Nutrient Database is a great resource for this.) it's also not strictly about carb *count* like it is for diabetics as it is the load on your system.

hypoglycemia (without diabetes), means that when you take in food, once the broken down sugars are released into your bloodstream, your body is *too* efficient at storing it in your cells, and the your blood sugar level goes from a higher level after a meal to a much lower one. the amount of fat, protein, and fiber in the food you eat *at the same time* as a carbohydrate slows the release of sugar into the blood stream, reducing the 'crash' on the other end. to top it off, different people react differently to different foods.

so, an apple may have a fair number of carbs, but has fiber as well, so depending on how sensitive you are, it might be ok. add peanut butter with your apple, and it may be just fine. but a gluten-free bagel on it's own? that'd have me crashing in an hour.

but you have to get to know your body. if I keep all my meals well balanced, I can eat at normal times, with four or five hours between meals. but many hypoglycemics - it's the recommendation - need to eat small meals every three hours or so. find out what works for YOU. it may take some experimenting, but it's worth it.
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#5 mattj

 
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Posted 20 May 2008 - 02:15 PM

you don't necessarily have to cut out all carbs or sugars if you're hypoglycemic. a lot of it depends on how sensitive you are. it also means that no one can give you a diet to follow, you have to find out for yourself what works for you. read labels, and look up the nutritional information of things that don't have labels. (the USDA Nutrient Database is a great resource for this.) it's also not strictly about carb *count* like it is for diabetics as it is the load on your system.

hypoglycemia (without diabetes), means that when you take in food, once the broken down sugars are released into your bloodstream, your body is *too* efficient at storing it in your cells, and the your blood sugar level goes from a higher level after a meal to a much lower one. the amount of fat, protein, and fiber in the food you eat *at the same time* as a carbohydrate slows the release of sugar into the blood stream, reducing the 'crash' on the other end. to top it off, different people react differently to different foods.

so, an apple may have a fair number of carbs, but has fiber as well, so depending on how sensitive you are, it might be ok. add peanut butter with your apple, and it may be just fine. but a gluten-free bagel on it's own? that'd have me crashing in an hour.

but you have to get to know your body. if I keep all my meals well balanced, I can eat at normal times, with four or five hours between meals. but many hypoglycemics - it's the recommendation - need to eat small meals every three hours or so. find out what works for YOU. it may take some experimenting, but it's worth it.

Thanks for the info.

I'm not even sure that I am hypoglycemic. Did you get diagnosed on the back of a blood test? I have had simple blood sugar and glucose tests done in the past which have ostensibly been clear, but the symptoms seem to fit better than any other disorder I have ever researched and my Grandfather, Mother and Uncle are all diabetic. (and possibly hypoglycemic)

Another thing, if I am hypoglycemic, is it something that can have a constant effect on me, or is it basically something that hits from time to time?
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#6 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 20 May 2008 - 02:24 PM

they can do fasting blood sugar tests, which are generally run at every physical. I also test out as low-normal (I'm on the very low end of the normal scale), but the symptoms fit to a T, and my doctor said " regardless of the tests, you're essentially hypoglycemic. treat it that way." if it's that "mild" (clinically), then there's not a lot you need to do other than be aware of your diet. but, especially with a history of diabetes in the family, DO manage it well. try to make sure you do not experience any (or as few as possible) hypoglycemic symptoms. (of course, first get tested for diabetes.)

for me, it doesn't affect me all the time because my diet is usually good enough to keep it from bothering me. but getting sick, excessive stress, different meds - all kinds of things can have an effect on your blood sugar, which will change the experience of your symptoms.
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#7 mattj

 
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Posted 22 May 2008 - 04:21 PM

they can do fasting blood sugar tests, which are generally run at every physical. I also test out as low-normal (I'm on the very low end of the normal scale), but the symptoms fit to a T, and my doctor said " regardless of the tests, you're essentially hypoglycemic. treat it that way." if it's that "mild" (clinically), then there's not a lot you need to do other than be aware of your diet. but, especially with a history of diabetes in the family, DO manage it well. try to make sure you do not experience any (or as few as possible) hypoglycemic symptoms. (of course, first get tested for diabetes.)

for me, it doesn't affect me all the time because my diet is usually good enough to keep it from bothering me. but getting sick, excessive stress, different meds - all kinds of things can have an effect on your blood sugar, which will change the experience of your symptoms.


Well, I've had symptoms which I think might be hypoglycemia related (and I sort of hope they are) for perhaps a decade now. There is some fluctuation in severity but basically they're always there. But if I am hypoglycemic then I have been 'assaulting' my body for all that time, so who knows.
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#8 mattj

 
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Posted 30 May 2008 - 11:37 AM

Apparently my glucose level was 4.5. (or thereabouts) The range goes up to about 5, I think. This was just a routine blood level, no fasting. Does this definitely mean I'm not hypoglycemic?
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#9 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 30 May 2008 - 07:57 PM

I had a blood draw, with was referenced as mg/dl. While my test ranges from 80-120mg/dl (compares to the 4-6 that I see online for the other test), I always tested around 85. That's a negative (for low blood sugar), but a low 'normal', and my doctor's advice was to go more on how I feel than some test. So if my symptoms match it, and and treating it with diet and that makes me feel better - well, then keep doing what makes me feel better! :) So I'm not "labeled" hypoglycemic, but I act as though I were and I - when I keep up with it - do just fine. :D Labels are less important than how you feel.
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA

#10 AliB

 
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Posted 31 May 2008 - 06:36 AM

I have been diabetic for 11 years and on insulin for 5. For years before I became diabetic I suffered with Hypos on a regular basis.

I think I have figured out why.

It is quite likely that most, if not all of those with hypoglycemia and diabetes have a Leaky Gut due to gluten damage. Because the gut is permeable, instead of the digested sugars being distributed around the body and to the cells by the liver, a proportion of them gets through the gut wall straight into the bloodstream.

The poor, somewhat confused liver then chucks out a load of insulin to try and reduce the level, but because all the sugars are not being processed in the right way, the insulin level may well be higher than it would normally need to be. That then brings the blood sugar level down, but too far and we end up with a hypo. The next time we eat something the cycle starts all over again. This will contribute to fatigue as the blood sugar is yo-yo-ing all day long, particularly as most meals contain some kind of carbohydrate.

A higher than necessary level of insulin will tend to lead to weight gain too which is also not uncommon in those with hypoglycemia and because of that instability the pancreas islet cells eventually become burnt out and start to pump out less and less insulin, at which point Diabetes develops.

The link between Celiac and Diabetes is well documented.

If only I had known years ago that my hypos were due to Leaky Gut and Celiac, I would have done something about it - the best thing being the avoidance of gluten. Because it damages the gut, it encourages the permeability.

The gluten-free diet should deal with both the Leaky Gut and the hypoglycemia as well as the Celiac. It won't happen overnight as it will take a while to sort itself out and for the gut to heal, but you will eventually see the benefit.

Keeping your gluten-free carbohydrate intake low will help speed the healing as the carbs and sugars feed the bad bacteria that keep the gut inflamed and encourage the permeability. Concentrate on good unprocessed meat, fish, poultry, veg and fruits (not too many), take probiotics and/or live yogurt if you can tolerate dairy (I can't but I can tolerate some yogurt).

A little honey should be ok as long as you don't overdo it - good honey is full of beneficial nutrients. The body needs protein and fats - it does not need carbohydrate which is, at best, just a quick fix energy provision. Many find that they get a buzz from carbs for, say 20 minutes then go into a slump. We can get all the carbs we need from fresh fruit and veg.

I am a fast-oxidiser Metabolic 'Protein' type which is true of most with hypos and diabetes. We need plenty of good protein and can't cope with carbs very well. So I focus on meat, fish and veg and am much better when I limit the carbs (if I have too much, boy do I know it - my whole body 'throbs'!). I usually start the day with protein of some kind, either eggs, ham or fish, for instance, or sometimes even a cooked breakfast with no added carbs. Keeps me going for ages, and stabilises the blood sugar, unlike carbs which de-stabilise it.

I hope you manage to get to grips with your diet - stick to the diet and you can 'kill two birds with one stone'!!!
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Ali - 50 - struggled with what I now know to be GI symptoms and poor carb digestion for at least 35 years! Diabetic type II (1997). Mother undx Celiac - lifelong diabetic Type 1 & anemic (plus 1 stillborn and 10 miscarriages after me). Father definitely very GI.

Stopped gluten & dairy, Jan 08, but still other issues so dropped most carbs and sugar and have been following the Specific Carb Diet (SCD) since March 08. Recovery slow but steady and I can now eat a much broader range of foods especially raw which are good for my digestion and boost my energy level.

Not getting better? Try the SCD - it might just change your life.........

#11 Ann1231

 
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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:05 AM

you need to have a 3 month average blood test taken (can't think of the name off-hand, sorry). I was sick for 20 years and "occasionally" would test low but usually normal. Finally my current doctor tested my 3 month average. It was 53! That's very, very low. I went on a paleo diet; meats, non-starchy vegetables, a little amount of fruit. There's no gluten in that and I have never felt better. Now my 3 month average is in the low 80's which is wonderful. Loren Cordain wrote The Paleo Diet and it is wonderful for hypoglycemia. Another note; anyone, even a diabetic can have a 'normal' fasting test. That's what my dr. told me and why he ran the 3 month test. Thank goodness someone finally found the answer for me!
Ann
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hypothyroid
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fibromyalgia
rheumatoid arthritis (diagnosed January 2005)
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restarting gluten-free January 20, 2013

elevated liver enzymes + symptoms indicated celiac January 31, 2013. Dr. didn't want to run further tests due to other health complications

#12 AliB

 
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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:14 PM

The average is an HbA1c.

The Paleo diet is basically the basic diet without too much in the way of carbs, just those from veg, fruit, beans, etc. The 'Western' diet is way too stuffed full of carbs and it is killing everyone. People generally stuff carbs from the minute they get up to the minute they go to bed.

It's not until you actually stop and take stock of what you eat that you realise. They may start the day with tea or coffee with sugar. Then a bowlful of sugar coated cereal, and maybe a large glass of neat orange juice (who in their right mind would eat 10 oranges in one go?). Perhaps they will also add a couple slices of toast to the mix. Mid morning, they will have more coffee or tea and cookies or another carb-laden snack. Lunch may consist of rolls or sandwiches and dessert, mid-afternoon more sugary drinks and carb snacks, dinner may be the best meal but could still include pasta, rice or potatoes. To top it all off they may have a few alcoholic drinks, pretzels, bagels, chocolate, chips or other indulgences before bed.

No wonder we are all so sick and plagued with such a huge number of diseases, like diabetes. Throw gluten into the mix and you have a recipe for utter disaster! Apart from a small number of communities and national groups who are metabolically programmed to eat mainly carbs, most of us are not and our bodies just can't cope with that quantity of either carbs or sugar.

People just keep obliviously stuffing it in completely unaware that they are setting the scene for major problems at some point in the future.
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Ali - 50 - struggled with what I now know to be GI symptoms and poor carb digestion for at least 35 years! Diabetic type II (1997). Mother undx Celiac - lifelong diabetic Type 1 & anemic (plus 1 stillborn and 10 miscarriages after me). Father definitely very GI.

Stopped gluten & dairy, Jan 08, but still other issues so dropped most carbs and sugar and have been following the Specific Carb Diet (SCD) since March 08. Recovery slow but steady and I can now eat a much broader range of foods especially raw which are good for my digestion and boost my energy level.

Not getting better? Try the SCD - it might just change your life.........

#13 Eric_C

 
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Posted 01 June 2008 - 08:04 AM

My "hypoglycemia" went away with the gluten.

In fact are you sure your hypoglycemic?

I had all the symptoms myself but my blood sugar was rock solid at 90.

It was just the gluten...I think the whole leaky gut think makes a lot of sense too.

I gave up sugar along with flour and was doing great until our cruise :)

Getting back on it....Agave is an excellent substitute. My wife makes this fantastic rum/honey/orange glazed shrimp and she substitutes the Agave for honey. Sure there is still the rum but a very small amount.
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#14 mattj

 
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Posted 01 June 2008 - 03:22 PM

I am not sure about the hypoglycemia, but I have been gluten-free for a year now and I feel no better. I'm looking at other possible conditions.
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